Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Mindfulness meditation seems everywhere these days. Even the corporate world embraces it, e. g., Google, Facebook, EBay and Twitter. And in medical circles, it’s all the rage, particularly in psychiatry where it increasingly rivals pharmaceutical intervention as a primary therapy in treating depression and general anxiety disorders. But is there any real science behind mindfulness, or is it simply Buddhism warmed over for Western consumers? … Continue reading Is Mindfulness Warmed-over Buddhism?

Happiness: What it is and How to Find It

I came across this still proverbial Tibetan saying in my pre-meditation reading the other day that I wanted to share with you: “Seeking happiness outside is like waiting for sunshine in a cave facing north.” In short, our happiness must be found within ourselves and not in events, goods, or even among those we love, for life often doesn’t reciprocate what we want, love, or … Continue reading Happiness: What it is and How to Find It

Teach me to measure all my days

Another year, now one of many for me, is about to pass. Life flows incessantly forward. More than ever, I’m thankful for every moment in the present, wanting to indulge, pamper, and exhaust it for its sensory fullness, or like a bowl of chocolate ice cream topped with fresh strawberries, swirling its sweet coldness slowly in my mouth, titillating my tastebuds, in vain effort to … Continue reading Teach me to measure all my days

Leap Frogging

I continue to read Shinzen Young (The Science of Enlightenment), and always with the thrill of discovery. No one, and I mean no one, has opened up the insides of mindfulness meditation more for me. You know you’re keeping good company with a book you can’t stop scribbling in with notes and highlighting. Later, I become this grasshopper–or better–a frog leaping pages, landing on passages, … Continue reading Leap Frogging

Live Longer Now

It’s funny how your mind takes vast jumps, transcending time and space, hurling you into the past or thrusting you into the future. It’s happening to me now. I remember sitting in my sixth grade class in Florida, fascinated with my teacher’s story of Ponce de Leon’s search for the fountain of youth, motivating him to travel to a new place, which he called Florida. … Continue reading Live Longer Now

My first attempts at meditation

Recently I completed a 28-day online course in Zen meditation from a Buddhist source, not that I’m thinking of becoming a Buddhist, but because I’m drawn to its spirituality, virtually absent in current secular approaches such as the wildly popular Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) and Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Therapy (MBDT) approaches. I think meditation doesn’t have to be a long, drawn out affair to reap its … Continue reading My first attempts at meditation

Cultivating Stillness

I am full of early morning, tucked beneath my comforter, stretching my legs, my brain filling its daily bucket of anxieties sufficient for another day’s wrestlings. These several days I’ve laid siege to my citadel of habit, rising in winter’s early morning coldness to meditate in dark stillness. It’s not easy. Plagued by inertia, I prefer my cocoon to elbowing out of bed and sitting … Continue reading Cultivating Stillness

Mindfulness and the recovery of compassion, empathy and joy

Nearly always I come upon new reads, not through lists but, unexpectedly, in the marketplace of life.  I like it this way–the surprise of it, the joy of discovery, the smack of fate rather than coincidence, like the chance finding of a new friend or bumping into wise counsel, unanticipated, in a corner; its aftermath of empowering, the mystery and the beauty of it. It … Continue reading Mindfulness and the recovery of compassion, empathy and joy